From: Scott Julian (Scott.Julian_at_alphaworks.com.au)
Date: 2004-06-19 04:03:36
Hi All, I'm wondering how if at all it is possible for Tulip to enforce copyrights, trademarks and 'IP'. I think that we all agree that they own the trademark 'Commodore, Commodore 64 hell maybe even own C64' and many others of much lesser value such as 'Vic-20 and PET'. But remember they can't own the number 64 as this by itself is not able to be a trademark 'look into why Intel changed the way numbered their CPUs, 286,386,486 and then a sudden they changed to Pentium and no clone makers can call their CPUs by that name' What I'm saying is just drop the 'C' and called it 64 Compatible. As for userports, expansion port and all the others such as joystick ports (clearly copied from Atari, and from memory Atari did take action and Commodore settled out of court). It would be impossible to take action against anyone producing products that plugged into these ports, as Commodore themselves published the port diagrams, timing information etc in the one book that just about every Commodore owner has 'Commodore 64 Reference Guide'. Not to mention that for the pass 20 years this information has been reproduced in countless books and magazines. They have no legal president to enforce any action. As for copyrights over software, well unless they have purchased the rights from the various companies such as Epyx they don't have any ownership. Most of the early Commodore software (cartridge games) were licenced from the likes of Bally Midway etc and I bet that those licences have long expired so unless they open dicussions with Bally again they can't even sell these products. Clearly selling Commodore compatible software that they own the rights for is a good thing, but if I'm going to pay anything for these products then I going to demand to get instruction manual (electronic version at the very least) or whats the point. One last point of copyrights and software, Commodore themselves did little in the way of software once the C64 got off the ground and in fact they did their very best to engourage other companies to write software and that is why this classic computer became a classic. Commodore may have made great hardware but that it, the very reason the C64 was so successful was the amount of 3rd party products that were made available. I think there approach is quite heavy, and clearly designed to scare and intimiate the Commodore community and this is not a good thing. At this stage they have offered us a joystick with a few games (not released yet) which will most likely be in the same vein as the Atari ones made by Jax (another Ironstone company) and nothing else, so until something else comes along whihc shows me that they are really interested in the Commodore community I simply believe that they are just trying to cash in. Scott. Message was sent through the cbm-hackers mailing list
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